Essential Link Building Guide To Get You Started

By July 29, 2019 March 1st, 2020 No Comments

The main idea behind this link building guide is to provide you with a basic knowledge of “get out there, just don’t hurt yourself” link building for ones who just start acquiring links. 

Hello guys, my name is Dan Buzan. I’m the founder of and today I’ll be sharing my thoughts as briefly as possible.

Why most businesses fail when trying to do SEO (see if you can find yourself in the list below)

I’ve been working in client SEO for the past 5 years and here are some of my observations

  1. People are launching their websites (sometimes without any content) and wanting to immediately jump into SEO for the next 3-6 months (usually by buying links) without a care in the world for on-site SEO basics like keyword planning or content strategy
  2. The average business owner doesn’t have much time to get to grips with the basics of SEO knowledge or hire an in-house SEO guy, so they usually outsource such services without a proper understanding of what they’re doing
  3. The average business owner just reads a couple of popular blogs such as MOZ or Backlinko with skyscraper techniques and white hat link building without clear understanding (again) of what they’re actually looking for. 
  4. It always ends in a similar fashion; hiring someone extremely cheap after dozens of tries to get affordable white hat link building services (though they don’t yet realize that white hat is the most complex method that costs accordingly, meaning pricey as F)
  5. As a result, we have not matched expectations, we have overpromised goals from “very very good, very very cheap” vendors, we have made no significant traction in traffic, made no leads, no profits. Cue the sad violin music, etc. 


Two reasons:

SEO is for your niche right now

You can SEO optimise everything that needs to be indexed, it’s just a matter of efficiency of SEO for your particular business.

Payday loans, Amazon affiliates, CFD brokers, comparison products (etc.) are driven purely by SEO, but if you have a very niche, specific service, then in most cases you should consider all of the other marketing alternatives before launching your SEO. 

You might not need SEO right now simply because it is just not a good fit for it at that moment in time. Before anything else, you need to stand strong on your own two feet.

Your startup business needs investments, leads funnels, sales and money. You don’t actually expect SEO to kick in within a few months with a budget of under than 100 bucks, did you?

If so, well, I have some bad news for you. You’re going to have a really tough time because SEO is always about the long term; it requires months of hard work to do it properly. 

But you don’t have that much time, do you?

Which seamlessly leads us onto the second most common reason for failures. 

You don’t want to learn the SEO basics

All of that fluffy SEO terminology makes no sense to you, and the biggest issue is that you don’t want to get familiar with it, so you blame your lack of time or just pack it together with your other issues.

The truth is if you’re a small business owner and your niche is fully driven by SEO (any kind of affiliates, e-commerce local shops, etc) then there is no way that you can stand behind it. 

There are plenty of other issues, but in my opinion, it all comes from a poor understanding of the very basics of SEO.

Therefore, I’ve prepared a cheat checklist to help you get to know the basics

2020 Link building Guide in a nutshell: basic stuff you need to know

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Analyse your keywords
  3. Write and publish articles based on the keywords you found
  4. Build links to these pages
  5. Repeat

Sound simple? Hold your horses a sec…

Get familiar with the basic terms first:

On-site SEO:  this is often neglected. Simply, it’s how your site is optimized in terms of the technical side, titles, descriptions, URL’s and so on. Please, don’t underestimate it. Get your site SEO audited before you start link building

Off-site SEO: building links to your website 

DoFollow: good link (haha)

No Follow: don’t pay for it, but understand that some percentage from all of your links you build need to be No Follow, so it’s natural to have a few.

White Hat Natural, Organic, native: is the Google safe SEO method when you don’t receive Google penalties.

Google penalty: oops, here comes trouble. Google de-index all of your pages until you undo all of your bad actions. This usually occurs when you build too many links with direct anchors.

Anchors: how you wrap the link up in, clickable, visible hyperlink text. You need to keep it diversified as much as possible, focusing on ways to build links to your brand, to your target keyword and to your partial match keyword. Don’t use direct anchors too much, mix them up a bit.   

Traffic: for total traffic use SimilarWeb, for organic traffic use SimilarWeb or Ahrefs (always prioritise organic traffic over total traffic). The optimal volume of organic traffic when picking sites for link building is at least 1k monthly.

DA, DR, AR, CF, TF: Domain Authority = MOZ, DR = Ahrefs, CF, TF = Majestic, keep DA, DR 40+ and you’ll be good to go, and the higher the CF and TF the better. 

SEO Tools: Ahrefs, Semrush, Serpstat, MOZ, Alexa, Majestic, SimilarWeb 

Guest post, guest blog, guest posting: the main link building service, keep them relevant to your subject, avoid spammy and bad looking blogs, check DR/DA/CF/TF, read the articles that these sites publish, avoid if you find them poorly written with links to shady sites. 

Forum commenting, blog commenting, citations, Web 2.0: usually extremely cheap links with superb SEO metrics, but they don’t affect your rankings. Use only for diversifying your link profile.

PBN: if you’re a newbie in SEO, please avoid them

White hat SEO: same as White Hat Natural, Organic, native

Black hat SEO: when you do everything to get results, quite risky

Grey hat SEO: same as black, but less risky

Now that you know the basics, we can finally proceed to how not to the link building tips. 

Follow these tips when performing your first link building campaign

The most important tip #0

Usually, everybody hires the cheapest option, then moves to more adequate quality/pricing solutions. 

The main idea here is that you need to invest some cash for at least the first 4-6 months in order to get tangible results (of course, it varies depending on the niche, but you get the idea).

Don’t expect SEO to get you profits in a few months and then you’ll be able to increase the budget thanks to all those extra earnings coming In. It won’t work like that! It just won’t!

Indian SEO costs $300 per month, average non-Indian SEO agencies close to $1k per month and white hat SEO starts from $2k per month. 

Therefore, you need to wise up to the fact that you’ll be investing for some time. Don’t be foolish enough to fill yourself with expectation after reading a couple of success stories from MOZ. 

Tip #1 – use this formula:


Get the Audit, then Keyword and Content Plan. Then you can proceed with Link building. 

Tip #2 – White Hat “don’t pay for links” is actually “pay a lot for a White Hat link building service”

You’ve read Skyscraper method from Brian Dean’s blog and the part about “free of charge” links teased you so much, so you want to do the same it for your brand new site? 

Well, you need to know that it takes tons of time, hence why it costs a ton of money too. When you want to hire someone for it, prices start from $2k per month for a complex process like this one

I have so many requests for Skyscraper and each time when I reveal the actual cost of the whole White Hat link building thing I always get the same reaction – people truly believe that I just want to rip them off. 

What can I say? Just be aware that if you want someone to do a White Hat for you, then it simply won’t be cheap.

Tip #3 

For most cases, good-old guest posting will cover all of your needs, just don’t publish your articles on crappy sites. Your articles must be unique and well written so that readers can actually get something useful from it. 

Sites must be relevant – relevant means being at similar to your category. 

Use the following SEO metrics: DR 40+, organic traffic 1k+, Follow permanent links, don’t agree to 1-year placements. 

The average price for publishing a guest post on an average site is about $50-100 without link building services and $150-250 with some external help. 

Tip #4

Build extra links to differentiate your website from any other sources you can get. We call it diversifying links, it’s all that link junk such as forums, directories and web2.0. They can be No Follow, not a problem, just make sure that you are building something else besides guest posts, so it all looks natural in the end. 

The average price for diversity links is $5-20 each. 

Tip #5

If you’re a newbie don’t buy anything automated – like 1k of links, 10k of links kind of Fiverr gigs, etc. Only build manual links; avoid automated links at any cost. When you get more experience you’ll learn how to use them in multi-level pyramid link building. 

Tip #6

Purchase guest posts on Upwork or another Freelance site for $20-30 per 1k words. Avoid new writer profiles and folks that can’t answer your questions. For top-notch blog content, is better suited.

Tip #7

Link building is tricky but luckily for you, you found the right guide to set your mind at ease for a while. Look at the sites listed below and learn where you can publish, submit, and contribute your articles by following the links. 

Dan Buzan

Dan Buzan

Dan Buzan is a digital marketer specializing in driving organic traffic through search. He has been writing about search engine and lead generation subjects, including SEO project management and link outreach.

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